Flipped Classroom 2.0

WordleI have been lucky enough to teach the same courses (Grade 11 & 12 Chemistry) for my entire 15 year career, which may sound like an absolute nightmare, but I have seen it as an opportunity to refine my craft. Intentional reflection has allowed me to develop my courses and increase the quality of delivery with each passing year.  I continually work on understanding the material at the highest level, revise student materials to ensure their quality and try new techniques (cooperative learningPOGIL activities, inquiry-based learning) to improve student learning. My teaching career has been one big action plan in teaching Chemistry. Question. Reflect. Explore. Test. Re-Test. Repeat.

paradigm

A few times in my career I have made paradigm shifts and there has been a catalyst. It was a Kagan conference that blew my mind and opened me up to the possibilities of cooperative learning.  The addition of POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) to my practice was sparked by a conference session. Teaching AP Chemistry changed my approach to teaching by allowing me to work as a Chemistry "coach" and has pushed me to place greater emphasis on inquiry.

My most recent paradigm shift was a BIG one. At the time, the questions I had about my teaching were: How can provide students greater access to my explanations without feeling like a broken record? How can I support kids who miss class? How can I get through more in less time (critical for AP)? How can I allow students more opportunity to practice skills and be available while they do so?  As a member of the AP Chemistry Community, I came across educator Jonathan Bergmann. He was touting the success he had been having with what he referred to as the flipped classroom (he it's pioneer!). Intrigued by the possibilities, I attended an online webinar he hosted in June 2008 and was hooked. By creating videos, Bergmann and his colleague Sams, flipped the conventional classroom. Rather than lecturing to students and asking them to do practice for homework, students were asked to watch videos for homework. In class, they spent time doing activities that allowed them to consolidate their understanding and work with their peers and teacher through a variety of activities. My mind was blown and my journey began: Flipped Classroom 1.0

Over the next two years, I developed videos for my courses, for every topic. It took commitment but I was determined and now have a full set of videos that students can access through their course databases.  On their own, the videos immediately answered two of my questions. I am available to students 24-7 for explanations and support and I no longer worry if students miss class (the onus is on them to get caught up). I refer students to the videos often and they take full advantage of them. Making the videos, regardless of the time it took initially, has paid dividends and in the long run has saved me time and energy.

In addition, in that first year, I flipped my AP Chemistry class, for one unit as a trial. I chose a unit (Acid-Base Equilibrium) where practice is critical and the topics build significantly on one another. In the past, the traditional lecture approach had failed miserably for students that didn't keep up with their homework. It was an incredibly positive experience for both me and the students. When they came to class, we reviewed some of the key concepts from the video, I answered their questions, modelled a problem or two and then they got down to work, practising questions. Not only were students more successful in the unit test, I was better able to assess their learning throughout the unit informally, by simply working with them one-on-one and in small groups. The biggest win wasn't apparent until it came time to review for the exam. Students had retained what they had learned to an extent I could have never imagined. The icing on the cake: they performed best in that topic in the AP exam. The cherry on top: it took less time then it did teaching traditionally! Bottom line: it worked.

Flipped classroom2

So you might be thinking, it was so wildly successful, she must now flip every class, all year. The answer is no. At the moment, I flip two units in AP Chemistry, I flip sporadically in Grade 11 Chemistry and I use videos for a personalized learning unit in Grade 11. I am very intentional about when I do it. Students need to be motivated to watch the videos and I am not convinced they would be, for an entire course. I also think it has it's place. I love variety and think students do to. I am all about mixing it up, keeping things fresh; it keeps us all on our toes.

After a few years, it's time for Flipped Classroom 2.0. With the big job of making videos done, it's time to take a fresh look at how I use them. My Cohort 21 Action Plan is the perfect opportunity for me to take a step back and find ways to improve the implementation. What I am doing works, but can it be even better? My questions:

How can I better assess where students are at after they've watched the video? How can I personalize the follow up lesson depending on individual student needs? Is is possible to use gamification coupled with the flipped classroom in a personalized unit?

My plan is to do some reading about the Flipped Classroom and learn ways that other teachers are doing their follow up lessons. I want to try tech tools such as Zaption and Edpuzzle. Gamification may or may not be in the cards this time around but I will do some exploration before I decide. I am excited about the possibilities and open to new ideas.

Do you flip your class or thought about doing so? What has your experience been? What approach do you take on the follow up?

10 thoughts on “Flipped Classroom 2.0

  1. Amazing post! I wholeheartedly agree that the flipped method is a powerful method when used thoughtfully and deliberately to cover material that is practice based and requires a good deal of one-on-one interaction.

    I'm wondering if another way to enhance the experience is to give the students the ability to comment or question at time stamped locations of the videos. Each instance of the video becomes a virtual class discussion that captures the struggles and eurekas of each unique class. I'm just brainstorming but from what I hear from students they are having a lot of these types of interactions on their own personal social media sites. I'm wondering if there is a way to capture that so it becomes a sort of an archived evidence of the learning that is happening in this virtual space? I did some initial research and came up with one product that might do something similar, and another youtube extension that doesn't look to be around anymore.

    http://www.sibme.com/features.html

    I did a presentation at ISTE a couple of years back on the same kind of concept using Soundcloud to track and improve language learning. Here is a link to the Prezi if you are interested. http://prezi.com/tqwicuydzjtq/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

    Ryan

    Reply
    1. Post author

      EdPuzzle and Zaption are two tools that do exactly what you are thinking: you can stop students part way through the video, assess and track. You should definitely check out Celeste's post (and the comments): http://cohort21.com/ckirsh/2014/12/14/i-have-a-crush-on-zaption/. Her post is partly responsible for inspiring my Action Plan. I was feeling like I had no direction but these tools give me a bit of a starting point.
      I will definitely take a look at your prezzi and the site you shared. Thanks!
      Melissa

      Reply
  2. I'd love to know if people have flipped classes successfully in English. Most of my teaching tends to be whole class discussions; most of my note-taking and explanations take the form of question and answer, so don't really lend themselves to video (since the students would have to be there to be videos!), and I spend a lot of time working one-or-one or giving feedback. None of these approaches really lend themselves to the flipped classroom (except the one-on-one) but I'm sure others will have found methods that do.

    Reply
    1. Hey Patti,

      In my first year of Cohort I experimented with Flipping Grade 6 grammar instruction...it was awesome. You could check out some of my earlier blog posts for the journey on that one.

      Also https://www.noredink.com/ might be a good resource to explore in terms of the mechanics of writing.

      But because English is so skills heavy, I think that for flipped learning to really work, it has to be built around a specific concept or skill you want the students to understand. For example, I used flipped learning to teach my students how to write a persuasive speech. They watch the videos and then came to class ready to write. I had WAY more time to support students individually this way.

      Great questions!

      Reply
  3. Whoa! Great discussion here for sure! There are great options, and we're actually using one of them leading up to our next F2F: EdPuzzle! Whoot Whoot! It allows the teacher to craft questions (MC and prose response) to collect student data. We're hoping all Cohort 21 members will participate in it prior to the Jan. 23rd date.

    I've successfully flipped History and English classes, and can certainly share my experience. For English classes you should check out Oxford Next - they provide an incredible online experience for studying Shakespeare. Here is a blog post on it: http://www.personalizedlearning.ca/2014/05/using-technology-to-help-course-of.html and here: http://www.personalizedlearning.ca/2014/05/greenwood-english-department-moves-to.html

    I hope this helps, and I can't wait to chat more about this at MaRS!

    Reply
  4. Hey Rath,
    Great post! I think the use of either of the tools you mentioned will have good results and will provide you with data that will allow you to assess where to go next with each student in your classes.

    Reflection is a big piece of the learning pie, and perhaps there's something in that would make flipping the learning more effective. You should check out @bnichols ' blog to see how she's getting at reflection. Also, @timrollwagen & @brenthurley are doing great stuff with Google Forms with Doc Appender Add-On and Tim is in your office!

    Looking forward to seeing how this goes with your students!

    Reply
  5. I love this conversation brewing here.

    Melissa, I think this action plan is going to be tremendous for the Cohort community to follow, as many people are just dipping their toes into the flipped world and reading your work will allow them to better understand what their next steps should be!

    I wonder if even a check in component when students come to class with Socrative would allow you to differentiate within your classes and support students where they are. For example, if you did a flipped lesson for homework, the first thing students could do when they show up for class is a 3 question Socrative quiz. Based on their understanding demonstrated, you could break students into support groups and either re-teach, re-enforce, or deepen the challenge accordingly.

    Can't wait to see where this goes!

    Reply

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